USDA May Allow Genetically Modified Trees to Be Released Into the Wild

By Anne Petermann :truthout – excerpt –This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.
Author’s note: Following the initial publication of this article, Reuters reported that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on April 21 between the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the American Chestnut Foundation. The MOU, described by EBCI members as highly controversial, would allow the planting of GE American chestnuts on Cherokee land.

On August 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a petition by researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) seeking federal approval to release their genetically engineered (GE) Darling 58 (D58) American chestnut tree into U.S. forests. Researchers claim the transgenic D58 tree will resist the fungal blight that, coupled with rampant overlogging, decimated the American chestnut population in the early 20th century. In fact, the GE American chestnut is a Trojan horse meant to open the doors to commercial GE trees designed for industrial plantations…(more)

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